Brown rice is the entire grain with only the inedible outer husk removed. The nutritious high-fiber bran coating gives it a light tan color, nutlike flavor and chewy texture. The presence of the bran means that brown rice is subject to rancidity, which limits its shelf life to only about six months. It also takes slightly longer to cook (about 30 minutes total) than regular white long-grain rice. There is a quick brown rice (which has been partially cooked, then dehydrated) that cooks in only about 15 minutes, and an instant brown rice that takes only 10 minutes.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.